Babies Don’t Keep

Cleaning and scrubbing will wait ’till tomorrow, but children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs! Dust go to sleep! I’m rocking my baby. Babies don’t keep. – Ruth Hamilton

I came across this sweet quote in a friend’s house this week, and it struck a cord in my heart. A cord that needs to be pulled quite frequently to keep me on track. Why is it so easy to get focused on too many little things, when the most important thing is to simply and lovingly rock that baby, kiss that boo-boo, read that story, and guide these precious souls to Jesus?

Let’s not miss the moments…

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About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

19 Responses to Babies Don’t Keep

  1. Kim July 7, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    Absolutely wonderful, thank you for sharing.

  2. Jessica June 28, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    When my first child was born, 26 years ago, my sister embroidered that poem and had it framed for me. It hung in my living room for years – long after my children were babies.

  3. Natalie @ Thinking Christian Mama June 28, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    Thanks Lindsay for this important post! It is so easy to get caught up in all the good there is to be done and miss the most important thing of all- our precious children! I posted something similar to this recently after coming across the words to this song:

    “I wish you were here to get underfoot,

    I wish you were here to get in my way,

    To call me from work, to call me to play,

    I wish you were here again.

    Oh what did I do that had to be done,

    And what did I read that had to be read,

    When I might have turned to watch you instead,

    I wish you were here again.”

  4. Amy June 22, 2010 at 4:36 am #

    Thank you so much for that. Just as I was thinking about all the things I have to do while my kiddos are in the other room playing…

  5. Charlene June 19, 2010 at 6:37 am #

    I had an embroidered picture of that very quote hanging by my rocker when my babies were small. A few years ago my oldest daughter, rocking her sweet little one, reminded me of it. She had been paying attention all those years ago and said it comforted her then and helped her now whenever she saw the piles of work waiting to be done. Ladies, love your babies; they grow up so fast!

  6. Elizabeth June 18, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    So true.

    My oldest just finished elementary school and will be turning 12 any day now. He is hairy and stinky.

    Time goes so quickly!

    My youngest is nearly 8, and can cook a meal and help me with everything. He will be a great husband someday, I pray.

    I feel a bit sad that as I am now 34, and not overly fertile, I really may not have any baby days left. Mine are truly grown! We shall see if God sees fit for me to have any more.

    Those of you moms of littles, enjoy them! The time goes too fast!

  7. Joyce June 18, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    I found that in a poem several years ago. I loved it so much I’ve always kept a copy of the poem. I’m not sure if Ruth Hamilton wrote the whole poem or if someone else embellished it.

    Mother, oh mother, come shake out your cloth!
    Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
    Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
    Sew on a button and make up a bed.
    Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
    She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking!

    Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue
    (Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.)
    Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
    (Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo.)

    The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
    And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
    But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
    Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
    (Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.)

    Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait ’til tomorrow,
    But children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
    So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.
    I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

  8. Misty June 17, 2010 at 9:49 pm #


  9. Wendy June 17, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    So very very true. The time while our little ones are young is so short, they grow so fast and I vowed to myself before I became a mother that I never wanted to be a mom who looks back and says, “I wish I had _______” fill in the blank with spent more time with, loved on more, rocked, or whatever. These moments are too special to let just pass by.

  10. Kat June 17, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

    What a great little quote! Thanks for sharing it…and reminding us.

  11. [email protected] PiecefullyHome June 17, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    now, I’m wiping away my tears. If my little ones were not sleeping, I would go pick them up and just love them all over. So often, I have to stop myself from “doing” and focusing on being with my kids, not next to my kids, but WITH my kids.

  12. Molly White June 17, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    This just makes me teary-eyed! I have been working so hard on our house lately, in order to get it ready for a “For Sale” sign that is going in the yard tomorrow. It is work that must be done, and quickly, which is mighty hard with little ones about. I am praying for a quick sale, so that we can get back to our “lived in” look in our new home, wherever that might be! I much prefer being able to snuggle on the couch with our five year old and read instead of cleaning during the baby’s nap. I’m a much more patient mommy when I am not striving for perfection in our home.

  13. Kristin June 17, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    My mom did a needlepoint of this that hung on the wall growing up. I am all too aware of this now that my three litle boys aren’t babies. I think I did an okay job of enjoying it, but I sure wish it was still here. :( Not that I’m not enjoying them now!

  14. YoungMom/Wife June 17, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    What a beautiful quote. I would love to have this in my home so on days I lose track of what is important I can once again be reminded.

  15. Leah Mick June 17, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    I’ve been trying to remember that saying or one like it. I definiltey have the problem of focusing on the To Do list instead of stopping for what’s really important. Thanks for the quote and reminder!

  16. CHristina June 17, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    Oh I so needed to read that. I all to often forget the importance of my job…being a mommy.

  17. Erin Coates June 17, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    Simple, yet so convicting! Thanks girl!

  18. Mrs. White June 17, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    An excellent reminder!

    Mrs. White

  19. Mandy June 17, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    My MIL gave me a piece of art that she had when her kids were growing up and it has this quote on it. I love it…need to be reminded pretty much on a daily basis! My kids are much more important than trying to make everything look perfect. And, they love me whether the house is spotless or not…probably more if it isn’t b/c that means I’d be spending more time focused on them! Great quote!